Wednesday, 30 December 2015

CATTLE EGRET and Classic Birds of the Norfolk Broads

On Monday, we headed up to the Norfolk Broads, as I was very keen on seeing the Cattle Egret that has been present up there for a couple of weeks. We started off at Buckenham Marshes, to look for Geese. We got round to the viewpoint, and we picked out 2 distant Taiga Bean Geese amongst the pink-feet alongside 2 other birders. There were also 6 Eurasian White-fronted Geese present amongst the other geese. A Dunlin flew over as did a Brambling, and there were some distant Cranes calling on the other side of the river. A male Peregrine was causing a lot of havoc amongst the ducks, but it didn't stop the Wigeon from showing very well by the path...

We then made our way up to Sea Palling, and onto the Hickling Road that connects Sea Palling and Hickling together. We found the cow field with with the white cows in, and Dad soon clocked on to the Cattle Egret, a lifer for me, and we got very lucky as it showed very well...

We then headed to Stubb Mill, at the Hickling Broad Raptor Roost. We got their quite early, and we picked out 2 Cranes in the field. We went on to see 5 in total. The pictures below show a juvenile in with this flock...

The totals of the roost were as follows:

2 Hen Harrier, 5 Crane, 34 Marsh Harriers, Goosander (flyover), Sparrowhawk, 6 Red Deer, 3 Chinese Water Deer (we left a bit early hence the short list)

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Sheringham Sea-watch and more patch ticks!

On November 22nd (seems ages ago), Dad and I went to do a sea watch at Sheringham, as the conditions were in favour of a good variety of birds being on offer, and we weren't disappointed.

The previous day had produced Leach's Petrel, Long-tailed, Pomarine and Great Skuas, Grey Phalaropes, Little Auks, all 3 diver species and much more! Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get any pictures of the birds we saw during the sea watch, but I got 7 year ticks from a 5 hour sea-watch. These were 3 Grey Phalarope, 13 Little Auk, Great Northern Diver, Slavonian Grebe, 12 Great Skua, Iceland Gull, 3 Purple Sandpiper and 2 Velvet Scoter. We got several other birds that we nice to see, like Eider, Guilemots, a Razorbill, Gannets, Common Scoters and several other common wildfowl.

Later in the day, we headed west, where we missed a Little Auk on the duck pond at Salthouse by 5 minutes! AARGH! That would have been amazing to see one that close! Oh well....

We finished the day at Warham Greens where we had 4 Hen Harriers (2 males), 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine and 5 Marsh Harrier.


Stowupland has been a very good addition to my patch area this year, where I've seen 69% of all the birds on my patch this year. I managed another patch year tick on Thursday with a Curlew over the house, making it 119 species seen between Stowupland and various sights in Needham Market.

Pipps Ford is under a lot of disturbance at the moment due to a lot of habitat works going on, but weekends are your best chance of getting some birds on the scrape, even if it's just a couple of Swans and a Coot! I did have a nice Green Sand Thursday however...

Hoping to get out to North Norfolk tomorrow, with Cattle Egret (present at Sea Palling for c. 1 week), Red-rumped Swallow (at Cley - extremely late record and present for 2 days), and Lapland Bunting (small flock at Blakeney Freshmarsh with some Twite).

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!